Miss(ed) Manners

April 2, 2007

Ultra Violent Tale About WWII Era Spain and There’s Two Minutes With a Monster, btw.

Filed under: review — missedmanners @ 10:36 am

That’s what they should have called Pan’s Labyrinth.

I know I’m like four months late to see this, but after laying around all day with a friend on Saturday, we decided we could do no more laying and went to go see the film at Sunshine, on Houston.

I fell asleep.


If you know me at all you should know I NEVER fall asleep during movies, ever. In fact, I find falling asleep during a movie to be a HUGE insult. My roommate does this all the time and I hate him for it. Especially if it’s a movie I picked out. The only reason to watch a movie with someone is so that you can have this shared narrative between the two of you, like you read a book together. You can talk about it, joke about it, quote it, etc. But when one of you falls asleep, it’s almost as bad as passing out during sex.

I was simply not entertained at all by Pan’s Labyrinth. I mean, I got all the allegories and imagery. The escape into fantasy, the parallels between what was happening in the real world and what was happening in Ofelia’s world. I get it. Way to be unnecessarily obtuse.

Stylistically, the movie excelled. It was beautifully shot, excellently directed and the special effects were marvelous. However, most of the special effects were used to show graphic, unsettling violence. A cheek slashed open, a nose pummeled into a face, a bullet hole through a cheek causing an eye to roll back into its head. That’s great art-house, baby!


The best thing about not liking this movie is the instant disdain you get from anyone and everyone who liked it even a little bit. You get to hear the classic modern art line, “I just don’t think you got it.” Like you’re a fumbling autistic who was wheeled into a graduate level physic seminar and grasping the simple concepts behind the imagery are beyond your feeble brain power.

What’s worse is that immediately following this argument you usually get hit with the, “Oh this is so superior to American mass market films. It’s a higher level of taste.” I despise the assumption that simply because a movie is European and non-traditional in its method of story telling that it is instantly superior. Before you slide down this all to common road of overly designed furniture, font studies and film noir, remember that Europe has also brought us such wonderful things as Italian Pop music, French rap and British reality television.

Cinema is for me, as it always has been, about entertainment. I spend a lot of time thinking, in fact, my over active imagination, second guessing and introspection are quite usually a problem for me. So when people give the ass-hat line of “this movie makes you think,” I read that as, “this movie is a fucking snooze fest for simpering morons who lack the ability to think themselves.” Why do you need a movie to make you think about something? If you had an active, functioning brain you could just do it yourself.

For me, Pan’s Labyrinth was just that. A snooze fest shit buffet full of style for the non thinking designer cadre and lacking any semblance of an interesting story. Sorry.

Hey look, the labyrinth! I will spend about two minutes here and then it’s back to the Spanish Inquisition, or whatever.

PS: If you’re the type of person who sits through the entire credits of a movie, making me feel like a jack ass for getting up and as soon as they roll, kindly die. I have no interest in knowing who the best boy grip was and unless he’s your nephew, neither should you.



  1. hmm now i’ve heard two people’s opinions to this same movie and they couldn’t be more differing. I haven’t watched it yet. I bought it and then my friend bought it off me so and she absolutly loved it but I have yet to watch it. Not sure I want to either.

    Well I do like sitting through the credits of the movie but not to read them just to let everything I saw sink in and whatnot. Lol i rarely ever read the credits. I just listen to the music and take the movie in if I like it and if I don’t I leave right away. :p

    Comment by dragonsvamp — April 2, 2007 @ 12:35 pm | Reply

  2. btw i agree about sleeping durring a movie. thats terrible. I have yet to have that happen to me no matter how terrible the movie is :p

    Comment by dragonsvamp — April 2, 2007 @ 12:36 pm | Reply

  3. Ah. That is the eloquent and disdainful MissedManners I know and love. Welcome back.

    Comment by max — April 2, 2007 @ 1:47 pm | Reply

  4. I’m back and I’m angry! 😀

    Comment by missedmanners — April 2, 2007 @ 2:00 pm | Reply

  5. You crack me up.

    Comment by max — April 2, 2007 @ 2:07 pm | Reply

  6. I almost always fall asleep at movies. It’s pathetic, and my girlfriend hates me for it. Especially when she pays. I’ve almost started to use it as a measure of a movie’s quality, or at least its interestingness.

    If I didn’t fall asleep, you should see it. If I did, don’t bother. I obviously didn’t like it.

    Comment by BFD — April 2, 2007 @ 2:32 pm | Reply

  7. I’m totally with you that movies for me are about entertainment. Recently we got “The Prestige” on Netflix, and I’d give anything to NOT have watched that movie. It was in my head for days, causing me to spend way too many brain cycles trying to sort out insufficiently clear plot points and, most of all, determine why someone would make such a gloomy and, in the end, ghoulish film. Ick. Give me something fun and/or romantic and/or exciting and/or (best of all) all three, thanks.

    I sit through the credits only when I have it on good authority (i.e., from my mom, who watches all the credits of all movies) that there’s an extra scene at the end that’s worth sticking around for. Or when it’s a Monty Python or Kevin Smith film, which means the humorous references hidden among the grips and stuntmen may be worth reading.

    Comment by tiffanytaylor — April 2, 2007 @ 4:04 pm | Reply

  8. SERIOUSLY, Tiffany. We actually saw about the first three-quarters of that one on the way home from Spain until the electricity went out in only our section of only our row. So, we watched it without sound and it looked intriguing enough. When we got home, it was moved to the top of the queue.

    Needless to say, what a waste of a queue-topper that was. I’m still disappointed and looking for someone to sue. That was like 2 long hours of valuable weekend time!

    Comment by BFD — April 2, 2007 @ 5:09 pm | Reply

  9. Awe MAN.

    I was hoping that the Prestige would be good, because I have an unhealthy obsession with Christian Bale that’s bordering on the gayness.

    Tiffany: Yes. Funny movies with funny trailers are okay to sit through. All of the Naked Gun movies for example.

    Comment by missedmanners — April 2, 2007 @ 5:21 pm | Reply

  10. If you want to see an awesome period piece about magic, watch “The Illusionist.” (Then, go watch “Fight Club” and marvel at Edward Norton’s versatility.)

    If you want to watch Christian Bale at his personal awesome-est (and I’m with you about the whole CB obsession thing), watch “Batman Begins”; or, to see him being nasty, “Shaft”; or, to see him being sweet, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

    If you want to become depressed about CB, Hugh Jackman, and Michael Cain being wasted in a dark, death-drenched bizarro flick, see “The Prestige.”

    As I wrote that, I realized how strange it is that I really like “Fight Club,” which is also a dark, death-drenched bizarro flick. I’m gonna have to try to sort that out…

    Comment by tiffanytaylor — April 2, 2007 @ 6:11 pm | Reply

  11. Fight Club is actually my favorite movie of all time.

    That is an incredibly predictable male response, I know, but I’ve seen it well over a hundred times. My roommate and I actually have seen it so many times we now only watch it under the influence (of varying types).

    Excellent Christian Bale movie: Equilibrium. Not really amazing or all that good, but there are both guns AND swords in it, and someone gets their face cut off, really.

    Comment by missedmanners — April 2, 2007 @ 8:03 pm | Reply

  12. […] over at Miss(ed) Manners presents Ultra Violent Tale About World War II Era Spain And There’s Two Minutes With a Monster, BTW. Whew! That’s a mouthful, ain’t it?! Here, I’ll give you a hint. Movie. Review. […]

    Pingback by Carnival of Humor Issue 5 — April 3, 2007 @ 8:27 pm | Reply

  13. Funny stuff.

    I’m here via the humor carnival

    Comment by Polli — April 4, 2007 @ 1:28 pm | Reply

  14. I’ve never posted here before, I feel I really must, because you are the first person, the very first one I have ever found, to share my sentiment of “Pan’s Labariynth.” Thank you, thank you, thank you. After countless “I just don’t think you get it,” and “How could you not like that movie?!” conversations, FINALLY someone gets it!! I’m a little overwhelmed. Thank you.

    Comment by Amy — April 5, 2007 @ 3:44 pm | Reply

  15. Glad I could be of service.

    If there’s any other high art fruitiness that sends bugs crawling up peoples asses let me know. I love talking about that sort of thing.

    Comment by missedmanners — April 5, 2007 @ 3:57 pm | Reply

  16. [[[high art fruitiness]]]

    Comment by max — April 5, 2007 @ 4:35 pm | Reply

  17. “Operation Latté Thunder” vet sez: “Well, there is no arguing taste” and I liked PL for a couple of reasons that I can’t …. quite … remember… F*** ! PBR #6 is sometimes like a Matrix red pill for me… or is it the blue pill that makes you forget? …

    Comment by grouchosuave — April 6, 2007 @ 12:32 am | Reply

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    Comment by sfwyerxxda — June 12, 2007 @ 4:15 am | Reply

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